On the heels of a deal with Facebook to promote Olympic conversations on NBC’s Facebook page, the broadcast network today is taking one more step to improve its social standing during the big sports event. It is linking up with Storify, the social-media “story creator”, to put streams of real-time Olympic content, curated by NBC journalists, across Today.com as well as NBC’s 10 owned TV station websites. An NBC spokesperson tells me that this is one of the “bigger things” that NBC has attempted to do using social media.
NBC journalists — hundreds, a spokesperson tells me, that will be in London and elsewhere — will be mining content from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social media sites, and putting into the Storify platform to create running narratives. It will be the first time that journalists affiliated with the local sites will work in collaboration with the NBC News team on an effort like this.
The Storify collaboration is one of the first big, public moves being made by NBC News in the wake of the announcing the end of the MSNBC.com joint venture, and is a sign of how it is putting more resources into its own newsgathering operation.
And it will also be a way of NBC further exploiting some of the other efforts that it is making in social media. Specifically the Facebook page will have features like reader polls: that kind of content can now get a little more currency in the Storify stream. This year might see the most “social” Olympics ever — with the IOC, broadcasters, national teams, Facebook and many more all vying for people’s attention online during the event; this is perhaps the first Storify integration we’ve seen among them.
“The 2012 Olympic Games will be more social than ever, and Storify enables us to capture and report on the social stories coming out of the Games in a unique, web-native way,” said Vivian Schiller, chief digital officer at NBC News, in a statement. “This joint project acts as a journalism endurance test for our teams, as they scour the web for the best content and update the page continuously from now until the end of the Games.”
In all, the sites that will feature the Storify stream will be TODAY.com, NBCNewYork.com, NBCLA.com, NBCChicago.com, NBC10.com (Philadelphia),NBCDFW.com, NBCBayArea.com, NBCWashington.com, NBC6.com (Miami/South Florida), NBC7.com (San Diego), and NBCConnecticut.com.
The move could really bring Storify into its own as a product recognised by mainstream audiences. Those who are newshounds, or social media watchers will already know the site for its role in creating narratives out of people’s conversations, observations, links and more. The company had already worked with NBC in the past. It partnered with Breaking News, part of MSNBC, last year to add it to the list of feeds that work on the Storify platform. Earlier this year, Storify partnered with Pulse so that its curated streams would appear as stories on the Pulse newsreading platform. Users can also subscribe to Storify on Pulse.
“The Olympics are a primetime example of how social media can help tell the story, as athletes and fans are reporting what’s happening in real time,” said Burt Herman, co-founder of Storify, said in a statement. “With all of the updates, photos and stories being shared across the web, organizations like NBC can use Storify to create a narrative and make sure all this great content doesn’t get lost in the noise.”